Lightship, the company that made the first all-electric leisure vehicle (RV) in the US, got $34 million in new Series B funding this week, which sped up their progress.
With this latest round of funding, Lightship is now in a great situation to start pilot production of its first model, the lightweight Lightship L1 trailer.
Lead investors Obvious Ventures and Prelude Ventures joined the round. They share Lightship’s goal for sustainability. The raise also included the first investment from a well-known RV maker. THOR Industries, through its TechNexus Venture arm, made the investment.
THOR’s support is a strong vote of confidence in Lightship’s plan to bring electricity to a traditionally dark business.
The Colorado-based company was started in 2020 with the goal of making RV travel better generally and reducing its impact on the environment. The Lightship L1 trailer is completely electric and has a lightweight, aerodynamic design that makes it easier to pull. It has enough battery power for a week-long trip powered by the sun.
The trailer, which starts at $125,000, is aimed at tourists who care about the environment and are willing to pay more to do so. Lightship is aimed at wealthy outdoor fans who want to go on long trips while also taking care of fragile ecosystems.
Electric tow vehicles still have trouble with range and charging, but the L1’s efficient form solves a big problem.
The owners of the startup also see a chance to get more people from different groups to go RVing by changing how people think about big motorhomes and trailers.
The technology built into the L1, such as solar panels and smart home control, makes design and usefulness more important than size.
Lightship has been working in secret mode so far to create its own technology and finish designing the L1. Now that R&D has turned into a real product, Lightship is using its war chest to hire more people and make more products. Lightship began building an 80,000-square-foot factory this month, just outside of Broomfield, CO.
The cutting-edge plant will have over 100 skilled techs and engineers working for it when it’s finished by the end of 2024. Lightship’s careers page already has job openings for everything from supply chain planning to sensor calibration.
The $34 million in new funds will help Lightship’s ambitious hiring drive and protect its domestic supply chain. Lightship is taking steps to avoid delays and bottlenecks as the L1 goes through test builds so that it can be delivered to customers for the first time by the end of 2024.
The capital raise also shows how Lightship might someday add more types of recreational vehicles and grow into related categories like marine vessels. But for now, the only thing that matters is making sure that the L1’s market launch goes well, especially since early demand is very high.
As interest in environmentally friendly vehicles grows around the world, Lightship’s management team knows that electrifying RVs will give them a competitive edge. Lightship can become the go-to company for environmentally conscious outdoor adventurers by providing a proof-of-concept that is focused on efficiency and usability.
People who aren’t customers or investors are also interested in the company’s mission. Tesla, Rivian, and other big names in electric vehicles have already sent applications for Lightship’s open jobs.
As Lightship works to make the L1 available to the public, top professionals in the industry are clearly paying attention to this new company that wants to make RVing more electric.